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tv   Al Jazeera World News  LINKTV  January 17, 2013 7:00pm-7:30pm PST

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>> a grim end to a hostage crisis in algeria. a military operation ended it. ♪ >> this is al jazeera live from our headquarters in doha. also ahead -- [chanting] >> celebration in islamabad. anti-government protests end after a deal is struck. a city paralyzed by water. the army and police are called in to help thousands surrounded by floods in jakarta. and confessions of a sporting superstar. lance armstrong's interview
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with oprah winfrey about to be broadcast. ♪ >> hello. one of the biggest international hostage crisis in decades appears to have come to an end 36 hours after it began. algerian security sources are reporting 30 hostages and 11 kidnappers were killed in a military operation at a gas plant in the east of the country. while the hostages included algerians as well as foreigners from at least nine countries including the u.s., britain and japan. algeria says those behind the attack include egyptians and others. they launch admit operation because the armed group threatened to blow up the gas installation. we report from washington. >> the algerian military decided to end the stage, the consequences of that action still not clear. in a day of confused messages, the hostage takers claimed they were moving some of their captives across the gas plant but the vehicles were attacked
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by algerian military helicopters. it appears hostages and hostage takers were killed. something not denied by the algerian authorities. they said direct action was needed. >> the operation was successful in neutralizing a large number of terrorists and freeing a large number of hostages. unfortunately, and we're sorry to say this, there were some deaths and injuries. >> the massive but remote plant is run by the norwegians and the energy company b.p. >> we're beginning a staged and planned reduction of nonessential work force, temporary basis, pulling them out of the country. >> a number of hostages somehow managed to escape, one of them, an irish passport holder. >> we're delighted that steven mcfall is free and safe. our thoughts are with his fellow workers.
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and the other people that have not been so fortunate. >> while many nationalities worked at the plant, it's understood there was a large british contingent. >> we face a very bad situation at this b.p. gas compound in algeria. a number of british citizens have been taken hostage and i think we have to prepare ourselves for the possibility of bad news ahead. >> the whole thing began when 20 armed militants called themselves the battalion of blood took control of the gas plant and seized workers and scores of algerian supporters. the gunmen demanded the release of prisonners in algerian jails and called on the government to withdraw its cooperation with france's military offensive in mali. >> what is happening in algeria justifies even more the decision i took in the name of france to come and help mali in compliance to the charge of the united nations and request of
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the president of the country. >> algeria has been building stronger lengths with america and europe by combating al qaeda elements within its borders but foreign governments were told what happened when key decisions were made and what went wrong. allen fisher, jalede. allen fisher al jazeera. >> let's bring in the former chief of the c.i.a. in al year yeah joining us live from washington, d.c. good to have you with us. what do you make of the al yearian response -- algerian forces that they've gone in as they did and we have a situation where 30 hostages have been killed. what we're hearing as well as 11 of the kidnappers. >> well, at this point, there's a lot that we don't know. and as was just mentioned, clearly, the western powers in particular who lost a number of their citizens are asking a great number of pointed questions to the algerians. it doesn't appear to have been a hostage rescue attempt in the
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normal sense of the term but appears the algerians decided they had to take precipitous action to neutralize the hostage-takers irrespective of the hostage casualties that might take place as a result on the basis of a belief they were actually going to blow up the entire plant. >> robert, with you speak ofs hostage-takers, who do you believe them to be? we know the algerian government says they have come in from libya and operating under orders from a former senior commander of al qaeda. do you believe that to be the case? who do you think they are? who is this group? >> well, at this stage, there's no reason to believe otherwise. muktar has taken indirect responsibility for this operation. this has the fingerprints of aqim. at this point, it seems quite
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likely they are the people behind this and the motivation i think is very clear given the fact that military tants are under heavy attack by the french now in northern mali. >> what would their agenda be in algeria, the aqim's agenda be in algeria, robert? >> the aqim are largely an offshoot of the psgc which is responsible for the civil war that took place over essentially the decade of the 1990's in algeria. so i think the long term goals have to do with it you were liberating algeria from the government, they're nowhere close to that right now so are thinking in their mission in much more international terms, particularly with the french coming into northern mali, they felt the best way of relieving the pressure on the rebels in mali was to strike at western interests and ratchet up the cost for western intervention. >> for someone who knows
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algeria well, should they have anticipated such an attack rather than just reacting to it? >> let's remember the algerians have been in active warfare in one degree or another for nearly 20 years right now with islamically inspired militants so this is really nothing new for them. it may be a slight difference in tactics on the part of aqim. most of their operations have been in the heavily populated areas to the north. by and large they've not tried to attack isolated gas out posts like the one that's just come under attack. so again, it's a very large country. there are very large spaces and it's very difficult for the algerians to defend everything all at once. >> thank you very much for talking to us, robert. >> sure. >> the pakistani government says it's reached a deal with a cleric to end four days of mass
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protests in the capital of islamabad. qadri led tens of thousands of protesters to the capitol calling for the government to resign. >> happiness and relief after spending five days on the road. these are the supporters of the canadian pakistani cleric tahir-ul qadri. many in pakistan were held breathless. he was inside the bomb-proof containeder qadri stayed the whole rally. this happened after both sides created insult and a war of words played out on local tv channels. the minister was part of a government delegation that negotiated an end to the protest. opposition party in the coalition government after the long march declaration, cannot take on the name of the prime minister on their own. none of qadri's demands were met and the commission has not been dissolved and the election committee will function in the
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same way it always has. qadri has remained controversial due to his motives and finances but forced the government to listen to his commands and they criticized the government for allowing thousands in the capitol. but that those in charge should be held accountable. >> all the people who are elected in the parliaments are servants of the public and those who are elected should never forget that they are the servants. >> the government had warned if anything happened to women and children involved in the rally, qadri will be held responsible. tens of thousands supporters were camping out in islamabad. a large number were members of the parent organization but not all of them. >> i wanted to show the world, we the people in islamabad who work here and studying here, he also are supporters of him because he makes a lot of sense. >> qadri seemingly called for change and then a quick change of heart has given way to many conspiracy theories, including some sort of approval by the
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pakistani establishment. >> people who have connections with the military establishment, they've met him and they met him in lahor. >> some sort of approval that you come in and shake them up. the whole idea was to shape up the government of pakistan. >> the peaceful protesters who gathered to pressure what they called a corrupt political elite feel they've achieved a victory of sorts. in their eyes, they've proven that decisions can be made on the street. al jazeera, islamabad. >> five men charged with gang raping an indian medical student will face trial in court. the hearing is expected to start on monday. and they're accused of abducting, gang raping and sexually assaulting a woman on a bus last month. the victim died of her injuries two weeks after the december 16 attack. an american soldier accused of intentionally killing afghan civilians in november has been
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diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. the case against staff sergeant robert bales said he shot 16 peoples in kandahar province. he served four tours in afghanistan and iraq. a state of emergency has been declared in the indonesian capital after heavy flooding paralyzed parts of the city. thousands of people have been affected from jakarta, we have a report. >> jakarta's landmark has turned into a sea of water. the financial heart and city center has become unreevenable -- unreachable due to severe flooding. a city of 10,000 people have come to a stand still. people are trying desperately to get home. >> i can't get home. i've tried everything and feel really weak now. for two hours i tried walking through the water. >> army and police have been put on high alert to assist those who need help. >> i can't get to the south of the city by public transport.
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i want to go home so i asked for help from this police officer. i'm afraid the water is so high, i'm happy i'm now being carried. >> this sits in the financial heart of jakarta and rescue workers are forced to take the boat. they're having trouble reaching those in need. more than 10,000 people have already been evacuated and many more are still stuck on the roofs of their houses. although jakarta is flooded every rainy season it's rare for the city center to be affectsed. a collapsed dike is the reason it's flooded this time. in 2007, the city experienced one of the worst flooding with nearly half of the capital under water and hundreds of thousands of people displaced. the main reason is poor water flow in the city due to bad waste management and widespread construction in the water catching area. despite promises by the government to find a solution, the flooding has gotten worse. jakarta's governor was forced
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to find an unusual way of transportation. >> we need action for sure. we need help. we shouldn't sit back when the rain stops. >> the governor who was installed three months ago promises to build 10,000 well this is year to absorb rain water and bring back river into their original shape. meanwhile, people in jakarta had to rely on their creativity
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saturday, 8:00 eastern, 5:00 pacific on link tv. >> the top stories on al jazeera this hour. an international hostage crisis in algeria appears to have come to an end 36 hours after it began. algerian security sources say 30 hostages and 11 kidnappers were killed in a military operation at the gas plant. the mass protest in the pakistani capital ended after the government and protest leader reached an agreement, tahir-ul qadri led thousands of demonstrators in a march demanding the government resign. flooding in indonesia's capital brought much of the city to a stand still. water levels in jakarta reached more than 10 meters on thursday. the united states has agreed to help france move its troops and equipment to mali. the first troops have arrived
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in the country and are there under a u.n. security resolution to help fight against rebels in the north of the country. mohammed has more from the somali capital. >> the arrival marked the start of thousands of west african soldiers due to fight alongside the mali and french army. >> if religious extremism takes root in mali, it's all of our subregion which will suffer. >> they were followed by more than 100 nigerian troops with 900 from the african continent. they are expected to detroy 2,500 soldiers for france and stepped up the operation on a daily basis since launching the first air raids last friday. >> i've been really impressed with the low guestics flow over the last three days.
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we really see the will of our forces who have all the equipment they need and why they are here, what you see behind me, bringing in 80 to 90 tons of equipment. >> fighting intensified, 4000 kilometers from the capital. they are a small but important town that they started the ground assault against the rebels. but emergency talks in brussels, the e.u. expressed its solidarity with mali and support for france's action. >> there were a number of countries who made it very clear to france they would be willing to help and support france in every way and did not rule in or rule out any aspect of that including military support. >> the conflict in northern mali has displaced hundreds of thousands of people in the last year. many more have left their homes since the french offensive begun. occupation in the military offensive in mali continue to increase and the humanitarian
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situation in the country dwindled. they now say they rescued two million to deal with the crisis, one bound to get worse as the military offensive gets underway. al jazeera, mali. >> the u.s. has formally recognized somalia's government after 20 years. somali president said made the announcement alongside secretary of state hillary clinton in washington. >> somalia is part of the commission on the community and part of the world. somali and the united states are a model for democracy of the freedom of people, of the development of the human and this model we are going to pursue as the rest of the world. so the relationship was there in the past. it's now there and today i'm here standing in front of you trying to improve that relationship in the context of the coming realities in
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somalia, in the region and the country to africa. >> there's been a sharp rise in the number of murders in the mexican capital just in the last few weeks. the government is saying that it's part of normal crime trends but others think drug gangs have begunfighting in the city. >> we are in one of the most violent neighborhoods in mexico city and police are stopping vehicles looking for weapons to see if anybody has contraband. this surge and violence in recent days in mexico city has some business leaders openly questioning if that means drug cartels are operating and perhaps fighting here in the capital. that's something the mayor of mexico city flat-out denies and rejects that and says it's just common crime in the streets of mexico. robberies have gone bad. you are seeing people now, the leaders in the state of mexico, this area that rings the capital and are saying there is a battle for turk there between
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two leading cartels. that's politically acceptable. what isn't politically acceptable is any admission we might have cartels fighting for turks in the capital because in recent years as drug violence raged across the country leaving tens of thousands of people dead, mexico city has been a relatively safe haven that hasn't been anything like the refusals -- levels of violence elsewhere. >> to the growing nightmare for aircraftmaker boeing, all 737 dream liners have been grounded by airlines around the world. engineers are trying to figure out why some of their batteries have emitted smoke and in at least one instance caught fire. boeing says it's confident problems will be resolved but analysts say the crisis will cost the company a lot of money to put it right. john hendricks is at the corporate headquarters in chicago. >> for boeing the problems are serious and develop their most technologically advanced plane to date and that technology is
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not completely working. in boston, a week and a half ago the plane had battery problems on the ground and was grounded. then in japan on thursday within of those dream liners were in the air and the battery began smoking and emitting a corrosive substance and the plane landed and everybody had to be evacuated on the inflatable slide. this is a serious problem for boeing because it's the battery technology that's the innovation on those planes. those batteries replaced the hydraulics that operate many of the functions and make the plane lighter and lighter planes are cheaper to fly because they use less fuel. the number of countries around the world grounded airplanes, all 50 planes that have been deployed are no longer operating as they try to figure out the battery problems. however, compensation will be
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seeked. while those planes are not flying. >> lance armstrong will hear with talk show host oprah winfrey. it's believed the tour de france winner will admit to taking drugs. raoul, the interview of the world is waiting for. what are we expecting to hear? >> i guess the world wants to hear lance armstrong finally confess to years of doping. he not only denied any use of drug use, he vehemently denied it. and yet there's a morbid assassination among us in the media as well as the wider public now hearing him say, yes, i actually did dope. i think it's a bit of a smoke screen really because frankly, when the usda report, the u.s. anti-doping agency reports in october, he gave evidence of his consistent drug use and the verdict was already in. we sort of already know he's been a doper but to hear him say it i don't think is particularly shocking. i'm more interested to hear,
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oprah winfrey talks about the many people whose lives and careers he destroyed, who had the take merit to stand up for him -- temerity to stand up for him. and one of the members said there was rampant doping. when she came out with the stories she testified and lance armstrong's attorneys sued her in court and she was completely destroyed. i would like to ask him about the rampant bullying he did throughout his career. >> if he does come out and admit to doping, why do you think he's doing it now? >> i still think he feels he wants to compete in the sport. he thinks he's going to be a cyclist again but his lifetime doping ban came into force as he was getting involved in the "on man competition like triathlons and actually getting up to world class levels and people were saying he maybe
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could compete in olympic games in the future, maybe win a world ironman title and is very good friend with the man who runs the iron man competition if in hawaii and said on record if lance armstrong is cleared of this doping allegation and he does get this ban cleared, he'll be able to compete again. i think that love of competing is what's really driving him now. >> while we wait for that interview and then we'll speak to you later. thanks very much for the time being. moving on to other news and german police have revealed the complex tunnel used by thieves to break into a berlin bank. detectives suspect the robbers spent months digging a 45-meter tunnel from a rented garage into the bank's safe deposit room and then lit a fire to cover their tracks and escape with their haul. evidence from genetic research tells us the first humans came from africa but very few studies have been done on the
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genetic makeup of african people and now a new program is set to change that and could also help treat and prevent a range of diseases. tanya paige reports from johannesburg. >> at this clinic in johannesburg they're measuring this patient's body composition. the information is being collected as part of a study that followed over 2,000 south africans since 1990. it started with michelle ramsey as part of her research into genetics. her study will track 12,000 people and four african countries and as part of the world's first pan-african scientific adventure examining the genetics of africans. >> we know body composition is what causes predisposition to diseases and diseases of lifestyle. it's really wanting to understand the genetic bases of it and how the environment interacts with the genetic
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experience to give us the risks. >> the risks of diseases like cancer and heart disease are set to increase as more africans start eating food with high calories. by 2030, the world health organization fears they'll overtake diseases like hiv-aids as the continent's biggest killers. though africa has the greatest genetic diversity of any continent, the population has been around the longest. very little is known about people's genes compared to europeans, americans or asians. yet that knowledge could be vital in combating a future health crisis. the research will also strengthen science in africa. >> it's opening up opportunities for young researchers such as myself, it's a way we get to collaborate other researchers from africa. >> scientists in 18 countries are taking part in the pan-african research program attempting to unravel genetic secrets they believe have been
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kept far too long. tanya paige, joe ha happen esburg. >> it's been a tradition for centuries but animal activists are saying it's no excuse. they celebrate today by riding horses through fire. but as it's reported, some say it's time for this particular ceremony to pass into the history books. >> for 500 years spanish riders have been leaping through walls of fire. the annual festival celebrates st. anthony, the patron saint of animals. villagers see the act as heroic but for the riders, jumping through these flames is a way to safeguard their trusty steeds. >> the festival is a pagan tradition and the animals are blessed through the smoke and fire and beauty find the entire
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year so -- beutified for the entire year and they don't get sick or nothing happens to them. in the days leading up to the festival they collect all the firewood they can and the riders set off at dusk and the fire by trial ends at midnight when the fires are turned into barbecues. animal rights leaders say the ride is cruel and outdated. the riders say they take the necessary precautions. >> it's a traditional festival, a ritual we have to go through. of course we don't let the fire burn the horses. we never want anything to burn them. >> activists in spain have made great strides to protect animals in recent years. this may seem dangerous but in a country where people fight and kill bulls in arenas, run with them through the streets of pamplona and tear the heads off of geese, this ritual is arguably one of the tamer events on the calendar.
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